"When I arrived at Christmas Island six years ago, an immigration official called me into the office and told me that they were going to exile me to Manus Island, a place in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I told them that I am a writer. That same person just laughed at me, and ordered the guards to exile me to Manus."...
Read Behrouz Boochani's literary prize acceptance speech – full transcript.
|Behrouz Boochani, an asylum seeker detained on Manus Island, has won the Victorian prize for literature Photograph: Jonas Gratzer/The Guardian|
"The winner of Australia’s richest literary prize did not attend the ceremony.
His absence was not by choice.
Behrouz Boochani, whose debut book won both the $25,000 non-fiction prize at the Victorian premier’s literary awards and the $100,000 Victorian prize for literature on Thursday night, is not allowed into Australia.
The Kurdish Iranian writer is an asylum seeker who has been kept in purgatory on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for almost six years, first behind the wire of the Australian offshore detention centre, and then in alternative accommodation on the island.
Now his book No Friend But the Mountains – composed one text message at a time from within the detention centre – has been recognised by a government from the same country that denied him access and locked him up."
From The Guardian